Slush? Granita? We say slush, they say granita.
At Big Zero we’re proud of many things. We love our GBG Carpigiani slush-making machines. We are proud that our ice fruit drinks are allergen free and don’t contain any preservatives. But we are positively evangelical about the natural fruit juices that we supply. Quite simply, we don’t add any sugar.
This is what makes Big Zero ice fruit drinks so different from many other slush granita drinks. It’s common to make slush granita ice fruit drinks by adding water to flavoured syrup. As you know, to make syrup you dissolve sugar in water. We don’t do that.
Big Zero ice fruit drinks are based on concentrated natural fruit juice. This means that after the juice has been extracted from the fruit, the water is evaporated from it. What is left is a condensed version of natural fruit juice. It takes up less space, and concentrate can be transported more efficiently than tankers of juice. You only need to add water to our concentrate to make the ice fruit drink.
Any fans of Inspector Montalbano here will know that the fictitious Sicilian detective is famous for his love of the local food. The TV series has brought many more tourists to Sicily, the home of slush granita. It’s so easy to imagine Montalbano sitting on his idyllic terrace overlooking the sea, enjoying a granita di caffè for breakfast.
It’s not surprising that the Sicilians invented slush granita drinks. Sicily, even without its volcanoes, is hot. The great food writer Marcella Hazan wrote that enjoying a granita on a hot day in Sicily is “One of the best ways to while away the time, watching life dawdle by as you let the granita’s crystals melt on the tongue …”
A granita can mean either a dessert or a drink. As a semi-frozen dessert, granita is made with a mixture of sugar, water and flavouring. The flavouring is usually a fruit, but can also be coffee or almonds. The texture of granita varies. Sometimes the crystals are quite chunky but some granitas are almost as smooth as sorbet.
In a more liquid form, granita is also served as a drink. This is what we call slush. We’re happy to use the word popularised in America, although granita does sound classy. As it is mentioned the last post, Big Zero’s beautiful slush-making machines are actually known as ‘granitore’ in Italy.
But this post isn’t really about whether we should call our ice fruit drinks slush, granita or something else. It’s about another word beginning with ‘s’. Yes, sugar.
We don’t do coffee slush granita yet, but if you want a Montalbano moment I recommend this recipe for making one at home.